Yellow, brown dying leaves all over my veggies ... HELP!

Eaton Rapids, MI

Ok. I am seriously freaking out. I worked so hard on my garden this year. I have 22 tomato plants and the leaves are doing that yellow/brown dying thing! I know some might happen at the bottoms but it is spreading all over the place. What do I do? Is there any hope? Should I cut off all the yellow/dying leaves? Should I pull all the plants? Is there something I can spray on them?

We are having another hot, humid summer and we recently got way too much rain. I also fertilize with Miracle Gro every two weeks. This year, I let a lot of the tomatoes sprawl and put straw down under them. It is not just the tomatoes, as I see some yellow leaves on some squash (but not as bad as the tomatoes).

And my bush green beans are looking just awful too. Some completely died, others have their leaves turning yellow and brown and oh my ....

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Should I take a picture and show you?


Swansea, SC(Zone 8b)

I'm sorry about your vegetables. I am down in the southeast, and my tomatoes/bean plants have the same yellowing/brown spotting going on. I don't have any solutions either. I thought it was not enough rain, but we water everyday. I would suggest getting in touch with somebody who knows their tomatoes, like Penny's tomatoes and Pepper Joe's website or on facebook. They might be able to help, and tell you why everything is turning yellow.

Plantersville, TX(Zone 9a)

When the weather turns hot, tomatoes will die. They only live when the temperature is 70 to 80 degrees. Thats why its very important to get them out as early as possible in the spring. You only have a small window for them to flower & fruit.

Poughkeepsie, NY(Zone 6a)

Could it be a blight? The yellowing makes me think in that direction. We've been hot here too but my toms are doing fine. Just starting to ripen the past 2 weeks. Cherry and Early girls.

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

"When the weather turns hot, tomatoes will die. They only live when the temperature is 70 to 80 degrees."

Behillman, that's not correct. It's been nearly 100 here and if not then in the mid to upper 90's and I'm getting so many tomatoes not only can I not eat them all I can't sell them all (mkt grower here). I think you may be confusing "pollination" with "growing" when using those temps you've given. Pollination won't happen when temps are super high but the plants will certainly live.

And ditto what Tommy said, you may have a blight affecting your tomatoes, Carla. And yes, pull off all the dying leaves off your tomatoes and get them out of your garden

As for other issues, it's been extremely hot this year, even up your way. Have you been watering regularly? Is your soil holding water or is it draining away too quickly? Are your neighbor gardeners experiencing the same thing?

And yes, there are many reasons for "brown yellowing leaves" so a pic might be helpful.


Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Shoe ~ thanks for correcting that. There are many folks here that will keep their tomato plants alive thru summer till the temps drop and the blooms will start pollinating again. I choose to pull mine up rather than waste the water to keep them alive thru this heat and drought. I planted fall tomatoes on Sun and they are not affected by this heat (3 days of 108+) at all.

Carla ~ how long have your beans been in ground? If you have harvested a crop or two, it is possible they have run their cycle. If I am not mistaken, bush beans will not stay everbearing. Pole beans would do better for that.

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

Good goin','re gonna have some nice fall tomatoes. Plants sure seem to handle the heat much better than people do, eh?

And good point on the beans. I have a crop of pole beans just now flowering PLUS had put in two rows of bush beans for a 'late crop'; Those will be flowering soon and are looking mighty fine, now that I've sprayed to keep the deer away from them.

Shoe (wondering why he's up so early!)

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

Carla - We have early blight on the tomatoes for the first time ever. Weather this spring was wet and then very hot here also. Try goggling early and late blight. The local garden center had two "organic" (their words) choices: a copper based spray and an a product called Serenade Disease Control which is a non-toxic foliar spray. I got Serenade since it's supposedly a fungicide and the blight issue can reside in the soil. The plants are still producing but I don't have enough experience with the blight to know if the spray is helping or not. HorseShoe or someone else with more long term growing experience would have a better/more accurate opinion on what to use.

The heat (100 to 111 the last week) here is sucking the moisture out of the soil. I've been watering the garden with soaker hoses for an hour daily. I've also been checking to see if the garden needs any more water on top of that (and it has). What I've noticed is that the leaves here show a brown margin all around the outer edge of the leaf when the plant has had an insufficent amount of water. A leaf from a plant with blight looks different.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

A picture would really help. Im always curious to see what the problem looks like.

Eaton Rapids, MI

Wow. Thank you all for your input!!

I will get a photo later today. I think I might have more than one thing going on in the garden as a whole. Here are the answers to some of your questions.

1. I don't think lack of water is a problem. I water regularly and we had a VERY wet spring. So wet in fact that I did get them planted a couple weeks past when I usually do. I usually try for May 15 but it was early June before I could plant the garden this year.

2. Our soil tends to hold too much water, especially in certain areas. I think the beans actually might have drown as they are in a spot that just basically floods when we get heavy rain and I noticed the dead ones a couple days after two days of very heavy rain.

3. I planted beans twice - first the third week in June and those are the ones suffering. Some look okay except for big holes in the bottom leaves. They are flowering now. The second group was a few weeks ago and they are coming up fine.

4. I did some research on the tomato thing. I am thinking it may well be a blight ... maybe the "late blight" .... seposomething. Either that or it is one of those scary wilt things (fusarium or vertsomething) I haven't looked up black spot but I will do that too.

5. I did a thorough inspection and it starts at the bottom. Black/brown spots (but no black centers on the spots) and yellowing. Yellowing starts on tips and edges of the leaves, often with a brown edge to it too. The spots vary in size and shape. I also noticed on some, the leaves higher up will curl inward, like the palm of your hand.

6. I sprayed some kind of multiple purpose fungicide (also kills bugs) yesterday but it was so hard to get all the leaves. I need a better spray system. Don't know if that helped yet. I also tried to cut off all the dead and yellowing leaves but there are so many I know I didn't get them all. I have 22 plants!

7. My butternut squash has a different problem which I think might be powder mildew, as it has white powdery sort of pattern on leaves and then the leaves just die.

8. Our summer has been very hot for this area. Most days in the 90s and humid. We had about 2 weeks of very little rain but I watered regularly and the plants all were looking great. The trouble started after a bought of very high heat and humidity and then two days of very heavy rain, where there was standing water in the fields all around. There is still standing water in the fields so the ground just isn't absorbing.

Off to take some photos but .... to be honest, I am feeling very down about it all. I worked so hard on the garden and I am starting to wonder if it was worth it. By the time I spray and mulch and fertilize it gets to be so expensive I start to wonder "why are you doing all this Carla? Just go buy some tomatoes when the peak is and can those!" I do love gardening and being outside and caring for the plants but with all the veggie troubles I have to wonder if I should just give up and stick with flowers. However, all my plants do have lots and lots of green tomatoes on them. (I have gotten a few cherries already). If all this yellow dying stuff doesn't end up wiping out my harvest, I will be happy enough. Maybe I am worrying prematurely. I just want lots of tomatoes to can and freeze.

On a positive note, I posted a message somewhere else about my squash turning into gourds and was told it was crookneck and I could eat them anyway if they weren't too big. So we had one last night and it was delicious! If not for the info here I would have pulled up two huge squash plants!

Anyway, thanks for this place and letting me "vent"

Photos soon I hope

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